Olathe, KS – KVC Health Systems, a national leader in child welfare and behavioral healthcare, presented its 44th Hero Award to the Washington, D.C. Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) led by Director Brenda Donald at its 2014 Annual Meeting. The event took place on Thursday, October 16, 12:00 p.m., at the Ball Conference Center in Olathe, Kansas.
CFSA is the public child welfare agency in the District of Columbia responsible for protecting child victims and those at risk of abuse and neglect and assisting their families.
For the past 25 years, CFSA has operated under a federal lawsuit due to failure to adequately serve children and families. In addition, CFSA has had the nation’s highest rate of children coming into foster care.
In 2012, at Donald’s direction, CFSA entered into a partnership with KVC to build research-supported best practices into the agency’s infrastructure to move the needle on child welfare reform. Over the last two years, this partnership led to dramatically improved child welfare outcomes such as 47% fewer children coming into foster care each month, children spending an average of 13 months in foster care instead of 48-60 months, and two-thirds fewer children changing foster homes each month. The consulting aspect of the partnership was led by KVC Executive Vice President Sandra Gasca-Gonzalez who has served as Deputy Director of CFSA.
CFSA’s many improvements prove the agency’s ability to overcome adversity to now become a model child welfare agency.
“We’re so inspired by Director Brenda Donald’s leadership and CFSA’s willingness to make very difficult changes to better serve children and families,” said B. Wayne Sims, President and CEO of KVC Health Systems. “She inherited many challenges. However she and CFSA were bold enough to envision a better system that makes a positive difference in the lives of children and families, and then within a short span, they made it happen.”
Each year, KVC presents its Hero Award to recognize an individual or organization that has partnered with KVC in its vision to change the face of child welfare in our nation. Past recipients include Dr. Patrick McCarthy of the Annie E. Casey Foundation; Dr. Glenn Saxe of New York University, the developer of Trauma Systems Therapy; Kansas Governor Bill Graves; U.S. Senator Robert Dole; the J.E. Dunn Family; and the Ball Family.
KVC’s 2014 Annual Meeting also included the unveiling of its 2014 Annual Report (which is now live at https://www.kvc.org/2014report) and several guest speakers.
About KVC Health Systems, Inc.
KVC Health Systems, headquartered in the greater Kansas City area, is a private, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization committed to enriching and enhancing the lives of children and families by providing medical and behavioral healthcare, social services, and education. KVC’s diverse continuum of services includes foster care, adoption, in-home family therapy, behavioral healthcare, and children’s psychiatric hospitals. In its 44-year history, KVC has grown since from a single Kansas home for boys to a national organization serving tens of thousands of children in five states. Due to KVC’s leadership in the use of evidence-based research to achieve better outcomes and advance child welfare, the Annie E. Casey Foundation recently endorsed KVC as a best-practice organization. Learn more at www.kvc.org.